All-Electric 2023 BMW i7 Leads the Way for a Radical New 7-Series

Photo credit: BMW
Photo credit: BMW

After what feels like months of teasers, spy shots, and renderings, BMW has finally revealed its new flagship 2023 7-Series sedan. The biggest news, aside from the polarizing split-headlight fascia and massive kidney grilles, is the addition of an all-electric i7 trim. The future of BMW is now.

Unlike Mercedes, which uses differentiating models and styling to separate its combustion-powered cars from its EVs, BMW took on a wholistic approach that encapsulates every drivetrain into one design. What that means is, the gas-powered 7-Series looks largely the same as the purely electric i7. Compare that to the normal S-Class and the electric EQS, which are totally different cars. Every new 7-Series, electric or otherwise, comes off the same production line and uses much of the same body panels.

The 2023 7-Series design is, as most of the industry expected, BMW's take on the popular split-headlight trend. This fascia places a thin light strip towards the top of the bumper, with all of the important lighting tucked in a cluster below. To no one's surprise, it borrows a lot of its general shapes from the recently refreshed X7. The massive double-coffin grille is here to stay whether we like it or not. For i7 models, it sports an illuminated outline—one of the only real giveaways for spotting an electric model over the lesser gas-powered trims. Out back you'll find an equally radical switch in styling, with thin, long taillights that reach far into the trunk panel. It reminds us of the just-as-shocking Bangle-era 7-Series of the early 2000s.

Photo credit: BMW
Photo credit: BMW

The inside of the 2023 7-Series is what buyers will care about most, though. Thoroughly modern yet easily identified as a BMW interior, the cabin is dominated by a curved display that contains a 12.3-inch gauge cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment screen, where most of the car's controls lie. There's a new two-spoke steering wheel, a new toggle-switch gear selector, and a reworked center console with touch-capacitive buttons and individual cup holders. Stretching the width of the dashboard you'll find what BMW calls the "Interaction Bar," a functional piece of trim with a crystalline surface and adjustable backlighting that houses touch-sensitive controls for things like climate, hazard lights, and opening the glove box.

Of course, the front seats are just half of the story. The truly interesting stuff happens in the rear. On each door panel you'll find a 5.5-inch touchscreen for controlling virtually everything, including climate and seat position. Optional for 2023 is an industry-first "theater screen" that measures 31 inches and can display up to 8K resolution. Priced at $4750, it drops from the ceiling and allows occupants to stream videos, play games, listen to music, and more. BMW says you'll be able to stream videos from Amazon and Netflix while on the move. Option the Executive Lounge package, and you get a reclining function with an integrated leg rest behind the passenger seat, along with a wider range of adjustments for the seats.

Photo credit: BMW
Photo credit: BMW

BMW expects the i7 to be the most popular trim at launch. Officially dubbed the i7 xDrive60, it sports a usable battery capacity of 101.7 kWh, sending energy to two electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear. BMW says it can deliver a maximum output of 536 hp and 549 lb-ft of torque, allowing for a claimed 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 149 mph. The company says the i7 should have an EPA-estimated range of 300 miles, though official numbers are still a ways away. There's a more powerful i7 trim called the i7 M70 coming as well, set to replace the 12-cylinder M760Li. That car will have over 600 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque, and arrive to dealers next year.

In addition to the i7, there will be two combustion-powered 7-Series available when the car goes on sale later in 2022. The cheaper of the two is the 740i, powered by the company's widely used 3.0-liter B58 twin-turbo straight-six, making 375 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque in this application. It's paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 48-volt mild hybrid system that, in certain situations, can boost maximum torque to 398 lb-ft. All of that twist goes to the rear wheels, meaning a claimed 0-60 sprint of five seconds flat.

The more expensive gas-powered trim will be called the 760i xDrive. Not to be confused with the V-12-powered 60-badged 7-Series of the past, the 2023 760i uses the latest version of BMW's 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8, sporting improvements like a reinforced crankshaft, a newly designed blow-off valve, a new oil pump, and a lighter oil sump. It makes 536 hp—the same as the i7—and 553 lb-ft of torque, getting to all four wheels via an eight-speed auto and the company's xDrive AWD system. Like the 740i, there's 48-volt hybrid tech onboard as standard, aiding in a claimed 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds.

Photo credit: BMW
Photo credit: BMW

No matter which 2023 7-Series trim you go for, you get standard air suspension on all four corners, with automatic self-leveling and electronically controlled adaptive dampers. Standard on all trims but the base 740i is a new power steering system that varies with steering angle and sports speed-sensitive power assistance. There's also rear-wheel steering that can turn the rear wheels by up to 3.5 degrees, cutting the car's turning circle by 2.5 feet. Check off the Autobahn package on the 760i xDrive and you get active anti-roll bars to improve stability even further.

The 2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 will start at $120,295 including destination when it lands at U.S. dealerships starting in the fourth quarter of 2022. Alongside it will be the 760i xDrive at $114,595 and the 740i at $94,295. Because BMW expects the i7 to be so popular, it's set up a pre-ordering process that allows buyers to reserve their build slot with a $1500 deposit. So if you don't want to wait too long, head on over to BMW's website now to get your spot in line.

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